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Is submitting a story the same as having it just posted?

By GusherJizmac in Meta
Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 11:12:24 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

I don't know about anyone else, but the only thing frequently updated on K5 is the stories awaiting moderation and potential posting. As such, I always immediately click on "Moderate Submissions". I almost never read a story straight from the front page or one of the sections, cause I've usually already seen it. It's as if submitting a story for posting is, in effect, posting it.

While I enjoy most of the stories submitted (even the ones I moderate down), should there be a more structured way to moderate submissions? Like posters can moderate 10 submissions for every story they get posted and maybe moderate 1 submission for every comment they post? I guess this might be bad for trolls.

Would this result in better posts and more traffic in the threaded discussions, or would it hurt the budding K5 community by placing undue restrictions on contributing to that community?


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How should K5's story submission moderation be changed?
o Allow moderation only by contributors 1%
o Restrict moderation for everyone (e.g. 2 per day per person) 5%
o No restriction 83%
o Some other scheme 9%

Votes: 167
Results | Other Polls

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Is submitting a story the same as having it just posted? | 31 comments (23 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
jmo, I like it the way it is... (4.00 / 13) (#1)
by quam on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 01:16:55 AM EST

I think what sets k5 apart is the user moderation structure.

Having only a select number of users moderate based on the number of postings/submissions he or she has can have some serious disadvantages. For instance, if I want to feel 'holy' and have the power to moderate stories because I have no other avenue in life for achieving such power, I would be inclined to submit a bunch of crap postings (i.e.: stories I feel that the system would look positively upon) so I could rack up the points or whatever authority to moderate. So, I'd be concerned that a different system would actually lead to poor submissions.

In addition, I'm not sure limiting the number of users who can moderate would improve the rankings/quality rankings of a story. By the mere fact that more users provide input or scoring of a story, wouldn't a story face more criticism/editing/quality rankings? By limiting the number of users who could moderate, I am afraid that the diversity of moderators and number of moderators would reduce the quality of a posting.

The moderation system seems to be at the core of k5. It is one of the main reasons why I like it here. I have noticed over time changes of the threshold numbers so that it is 'more difficult' for a story to be posted. I'm sure this would have a lot to do with the increasing membership at k5.

I guess a concern you have, given that you visit stories in moderation but not at the front page or section pages, is that posted stories are not getting as much visibility as moderated stories? Hmmm... haven't thought about that. For me, it depends on the story. If I'm interested, I'll continually visit the story. Can't speak for anyone else here.

-- U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
This is a good observation, but... (4.00 / 12) (#2)
by cybin on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 01:17:01 AM EST

if you want the power of moderation to be in the hands of K5's users, everybody has to have an equal say in everything. (do i sound like Al Gore?)

seriously though, i moderate everything too, and the beauty of that is, stories that don't cut it disappear quickly. ones that are OK hang around in the submission queue for a while, and great ones go pretty much straight to the front. getting to the front page isn't a place for a story to die, IMHO -- it's the place where the REAL discussion starts, and it's the stuff the outside world sees... the quality of those stores is generally very high, and that's why every time i mention K5 to someone i know, they say "Those people are frickin' SMART on that site!"


Its the place where real discussion (3.66 / 3) (#4)
by ZanThrax on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 01:30:10 AM EST

should start. Thing is, for the majority of stories, by the time it gets out of the queue, all the discussion has happened. In the last few days, I've seen several stories not gain a single new post after making it out of the queue and onto the site proper. (I don't know if they're making section or front, I always view the everything section.) As far as what the outside world sees, how much lurking goes on at K5? Are there large numbers of regular readers who don't contribute and aren't members? I suspect that almost anyone who comes here regularly is at least signed up, even if they don't contribute any commentary of their own.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

In the past few days... (3.66 / 3) (#11)
by rusty on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:29:06 AM EST

...we've had a lot of uninteresting stories. :-)

Seriously, though, it comes in waves. We'll have a great week, and a not so great week. This week has been so-so, IMO. Good stories get a lot of new discussion on the "real" site. I suspect some people use the site like the author of this story, but quite a few readers never or hardly ever vote on stuff, too. Whatever makes you happy, really. If you want there to be more discussion in posted stories, after they get out of the queue, then go to those, and discuss them. It's pretty much that simple. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I get lazy sometimes (none / 0) (#30)
by Potsy on Sat Dec 09, 2000 at 12:55:01 PM EST

Note: this is one of the few times I've posted a topical comment to a story while still in the queue.

Many times, I won't even look at the queue. It just moves too fast for me to keep up. If I post at all, it's after the story makes it to the front or section page. I just sit back and let everyone else do the work of voting up stories. Strangely enough, I feel kind of guilty whenever I do that. It feels like I'm mooching off everyone else's efforts.

[ Parent ]

Whups (none / 0) (#31)
by Potsy on Sat Dec 09, 2000 at 12:57:24 PM EST

Whoops, I should have paid more attention. Strike what I said under "note:". This story had already made it to the section page when I posted my comment. Geez, I'm a dummy sometimes.

What I said about feeling guilty still stands, though.

[ Parent ]

Would change k5 too much (4.21 / 14) (#3)
by bigbird on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 01:25:27 AM EST

Like posters can moderate 10 submissions for every story they get posted and maybe moderate 1 submission for every comment they post?
I like the current system. There are many people who never submit articles, but post incredibly well thought-out comments. I trust these peoples judgement on what is a good story far more than I do someone who posts an MLP. Same for comments - I imagine that there are people who read them who may never post, and who take their responsibility to the community seriously. Your proposal would disenfranchise these people, and in effect remove them from the community. As well as damage the community spirit that Rusty encouraged with his awesome work on tailoring Scoop.

I never see a "Mod this up!!!!" post on k5, and I prefer it that way. The current system is bad for trolls, too, due to the -1 and potential loss of their accounts. We do not need "comment whores" and "article whores" over here. I have viewed few ( less than 5) comments that really deserved a -1.


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16

Ha. (1.80 / 15) (#6)
by Devil Ducky on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 01:36:44 AM EST


I voted and didn't have to post a comment.


Devil Ducky

Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
Day trading at it's Funnest
Vicious circle (4.11 / 9) (#10)
by duxup on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:18:34 AM EST

Wouldn't this just turn into a vicious circle after a while?

People who get stories approved get more votes, and approve stories they like, and of course those who's stories get approved probably enjoy similar things. I would think this would have the distinct possibility of turning into a small minority of very powerful voters with the same stale ideas choosing what makes it to the site and what doesn't. New ideas and thoughts from other people would be difficult to bring to the site.

Regarding the ratio of votes being tied to comments idea, this also seems like it could get ugly. If I wanted to present new subject matter to enhance K5 because I didn't find anything I wanted to participate in . . . I'd find it hard to get the submission passed because I can't vote, and probably neither can people who feel the same way I do.

nope (3.00 / 4) (#12)
by jbridge21 on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:37:21 AM EST

Submit == post only for those who regularly moderate.

I was away from K5 for most of the thanksgiving break, and it was nice to have the stories there to read when I got back... and I DIDN'T see them in the submission queue.

Shall we change the motto too? (3.91 / 12) (#13)
by Miniluv on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 03:36:59 AM EST

I cannot marshall a single argument, as devils advocate, for why this idea has any real merit compared to the current system.

First, K5 enjoys a high moderation to posting ratio, especially in relation to stories. It's nice being able to contribute to the site, through comments and moderation, without having to contrive something to write when I'm uninspired.
Second, your proposed system is a lot more unfair to those people who do not have the time to more "actively" contribute to K5, but who still comprise a solid portion of the community we all benefit from having.
Your point about immediately clicking on the moderate section is understood, it's all I can usually find time to read as well, but members aren't in fact the only people reading this site. Perhaps Rusty could work up some stats on how many pageviews hit the frontpage that are unlogged in users compared to logged in so we can have real numbers to judge based on.
I will say though, the fact that I didn't see the submission queue the first couple times I visited K5, before I got an account, kept me coming back, because it just so happened I did not like the first couple stories I moderated upon, and had I seen them I might have become disheartened. We weed a fair number of posts, for a variety of reasons, and that weeding is one of the most effective systems I've come across. It's better than the cabal of editors method, it's better than the post everything method, it's better than the random positive integers (as yet unimplemented) method.
Ultimately if you don't like the moderation system feel free to comment, and articles like this are in fact the way. I will admit, I modded your story -1, because I don't think it's particularly worthy of much discussion, since it goes against the foundation, and motto, of the site but that's ok cuz I'm only one voice in a group of non-elite moderators.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'

Restricted moderation would destroy K5 (3.85 / 7) (#14)
by Nick Ives on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 06:32:11 AM EST

I think my subject line makes it clear what I think of this proposal =).

I think that any form of restriction in the moderation system would destroy K5. As it stands there is very little abuse of the moderation system, both in comment rating and story moderation. I believe this is because everyone has an equal voice, just by virtue of being smart enough to register an account and login. Any other system would allow institutional eliteism of some form to take hold, or some other abuse of the system.

The system we've got now is right, imo. Sure we could do with new user features, but the basic system of comment rating, mojo and story moderation is right. If its not broken, dont fix it.

I'm breaking my own rule doing this... (3.80 / 5) (#15)
by tooth on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 07:00:56 AM EST

I know that I haven't been on k5 for that long, but for what it's worth.. here is my take on it. How about allowing editorial comments only and saving any discussion until (if?) it gets posted to the main site or even removing all the current comments once it has been posted?

Would this delay the deep and meaningful discussion for the main page? I don't know. I do think it is a bad idea to stop everyone from moderating the submission queue though, it is definatly one thing (of many) that makes k5 unique.

-- There are only two types of penguins in the Antarctic.

Used to be that way (3.00 / 2) (#17)
by pete on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 08:50:55 AM EST

Initially, that's the way it was. I preferred it that way, and wouldn't mind seeing it go back. IIRC, people started using editorial comments to post topical things (just couldn't wait to talk about it ;-)) so they were added. (Someone with a better memory than me might correct this.)

I also think restricting moderation is an absolutely horrible idea.


[ Parent ]
My feelings against this idea... (3.25 / 4) (#18)
by teeheehee on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 09:23:22 AM EST

I considered that but ultimately I think it's a good idea to be able to post discussion-based comments while the story is still in the throws of being voted in.

For those who are voting to see discussion already brewing (as well as the content of the discussion, whether it be highly debatable or if it's just receiving flak or is totally one-sided arguments) it's a sign that this story has some basis for a discussion or was completely prepared to attract trolls or flame. One can make a decision then as to whether they want the story posted; they otherwise might have been impartial to it.

(Discordia) :: Hail Eris!
Everything you've just read was poetry and art - no infringement!

[ Parent ]
Submitting eq posting. So? (3.00 / 2) (#16)
by fvw on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 07:47:18 AM EST

I don't think it really matters. The only thing passing moderation does, is guarantee that the story won't be deleted later. Anything really bad will disappear from the queue in a matter of minutes, so the system works, imho.

Feeling of Contribution (3.60 / 5) (#20)
by fender0011 on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 12:06:50 PM EST

I agree with you about hitting the moderate submition button and not reading the articles. However, I like the fact that I can moderate the stories and posts without some sort of "karma" or random token or anything. To be honest it's one of the reasons I like K5. On /. You can post to a story but unless you're early or have lots of karma or have something extremely useful to say nobody reads it. Here I can post to a story like this and more than likely somebody will read it and see what I have to contribute, even if it isn't terribly 'Funny' or 'Interesting'.

Also it makes me feel like I'm contributing when I moderate posts. I don't usually have any news that other people haven't heard yet so I can't really post stories, but by moderating I feel like I'm being useful to the community.

------ This sig is under development. If you'd like to be notified when this sig is completed... umm... well too bad, you'll just have to wait.
my solution (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by Potatoswatter on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 02:10:45 PM EST

You can shorten the story queue by making the threshold a curve on the ratio of yea-votes to nea-votes. 10 +1 votes to 1 -1 vote would post the story instantly; 100 yes-votes to 100 no-votes would let the story time out. There are a lot of things that could be done, like independent thresholds for every section and lowering the threshold for each section as time passes, to make a constant rate of story addition per section. I'd write more up, but I'm kinda trying to save it for this one big mega-post to /meta which I haven't gotten around to for like a month :v(.

Oh yeah, just to make this obviously relevant, a shorter queue would make less commenting on stories in the queue. This would generally raise the maximum number of comments to be posted on an unaccepted story, but maybe a bonus for lots of comments would work too.

myQuotient = myDividend/*myDivisorPtr; For multiple languages in the same function, see Upper/Mute in my diary! */;

Not sure I'd like that (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by Smiling Dragon on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 05:07:35 PM EST

With this system, stories could get dumped or accepted too fast. By having the large margins we have, it gives users time to read and vote - smoothes out the anomalies.

Take an example:
Joe user writes a kick-ass story, it's insightful, well thought-out, gramatically correct but very contravertial.
Now this means that under the present system, there would be quite a few negative votes but stacks more positive votes (I like K5 fot this reason - most people here can see past their own bigotry).

It's faily easy to get 5 grumpy people in a row voting -1 without seeing one person that likes the post. Just random chance will do that. But once you push the margins out it starts to get harder for bursty voting to screw it up. The ratio is a good idea but it relies on a fairly even distribution of the votes.

My stats skills are very rusty these days but I imagine one could find a simple enough model to accuratly represent the K5 system. And I'm pretty sure it would only settle out with the wide margins we have.

The different ratios for different sections idea: I'd be interested in seeing that although with some careful thinking ahead of time, if you made some sections 'easier' to post too, it might encourage the trolls to show up there - just making more off-topic posts. On the other-hand it could work just fine, we'd see a more balanced range of stories as people are encouraged to post stories of the type we've not seen for a while.

-- Sometimes understanding is the booby prize - Neal Stephenson
[ Parent ]
forget the numbers. (3.00 / 1) (#28)
by Potatoswatter on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 11:00:40 PM EST

I've left out other very definite patterns, like the fact that stories are more likely to get different ratings at different times of day or during the weekend.

But aside from the details, it would allow a the curve to be adjusted to perfect the quick posting of late-breaking news (which is most likely to get a 10:1 ratio but still take forever to actually make it to 85) and still allow fair margins for off-hour grumpiness. The current system has no curve at all and just lets the rather high percentage of stories that reach the equilibrium sit there. Even worse, from my observations there only appear to be only 900 or so voting members of k5, because at that number no more votes are cast and the story can just sit in the queue seemingly forever - I'm not sure how they even get removed. Rusty?...

At this point, I'm just taking criticism as editorial to the story which I "will" post.

myQuotient = myDividend/*myDivisorPtr; For multiple languages in the same function, see Upper/Mute in my diary! */;
[ Parent ]

Lurkers and time (3.42 / 7) (#24)
by Skippy on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 04:27:16 PM EST

There are ~9200 user accounts according to the last comment I read by rusty. I regularly vote on submissions to the queue and most stories are posted within, say, 300 votes. Which means at that point about 3% of the registered users have seen the story (discounting non-voting but reading lurkers). So I'd have to say no that submitted and posted are very different.

I also imaging that there are those who have accounts but lurk and don't vote or post so they never see the submission queue. Then there are the true lurkers who don't even have accounts and see ONLY what we post to the front page. For them submission and posting are ALWAYS different.

Finally, I don't always have the time to vote. Stories die or are posted without any input from me. I don't see them until they are on the front page. So once again, I have to say no, submission and posting are different.

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #

terrible (4.33 / 9) (#25)
by 31: on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 04:32:50 PM EST

Well, let me start with a disclaimer: I think mojo's a bunch of BS... anything that creates seperate classes of people (especially when it's based on past popularity), shouldn't have a place in what really is designed to be a democratic system. Hence, no titles of nobility in the US...

That said, having a situation where you're creating an even higher level of aristocrat on k5 (a group of people that decides what everyone else gets to see), would be far far worse... at least with mojo, there was a distinct need for something that would fix a problem... and having trolls overrun k5 is a much bigger problem than stories hanging out in the queue.

My solution? Go back to no topical posts in the queue... when rusty first added this feature, i predicted this would happen, and rusty said he'd watch it... I'd be interested to know if from a non-biased point of view if that's happened (that is, do the server logs back the assertion)...

Ok, I hope my point in that was relatively lucid.

Fine as is (4.00 / 5) (#27)
by Fyndalf on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 07:28:46 PM EST

I like to read all the stories as they come in. The current system lets me do this, some of those proposals wouldn't. If I can't read the queue, this site effectively becomes Slashdot for me, albeit with a smaller user base. Whatever happens, I hope the option to read everything is preserved for those of us who wish to use it.

Is submitting a story the same as having it just posted? | 31 comments (23 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
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